So at a loss...

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Kazgirl, Nov 4, 2013.

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  1. Kazgirl

    Kazgirl New Member

    I am a mum to a beautiful nearly 15 year old girl who is struggling with severe depression. Over the last 6 weeks I have helped her through many crisis, and we are engaged with the mental health service. She is on medication and receiving assistance from psychiatrist and psychologist. I am at a loss as to how best to parent her through this tough time. I tell her all the time how loved she is...and I really do mean it. I try not to let my emotions show very much as when she is in crisis she believes that apart from feeling as if nobody except me loves her so she wouldn't be missed and the world would be a better place if she wasn't here, she also believes that if she wasn't here then I wouldn't need to stress and worry so much. As many of you are aware, crisis time is very hard and sad, but I feel very privileged that she allows me to help her in the period of intense distress and just be with her until it passes.
    I am terrified that she may not reach out for help and actually carry out self harm/suicide. I am struggling with allowing her to do things most 15 year olds do such as go for walks/runs alone etc. I do allow her to do so when she is not in a distressed state but am on tender hooks as things can change so quick. I also struggle with every day boundaries...things she needs to do like regular chores etc. Motivation is a struggle I know but I would like her to be able to achieve some things but not sure if the normal firm boundaries should apply during this time or if I should just let her be. I don't want to upset her more, but don't want to wrap her in cotton wool either. Please can anyone give me some guidance. Advice from teens who have been through what my daughter is going through and come out the other side would be great...what was helpful to you during that time or not helpful. Also from parents or caregivers of teens I would like to hear from. Thanks heaps for any assistance. Karen
  2. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    I understand your situation far too well - same age daughter and similar issues. I would be happy to discuss the things we have tried that helped as well as made worse. If you want to talk please PM as I do not want to discuss my daughters issues and parenting techniques on the open forum.
    (to pm just click my username and then choose " private message" )
  3. loneland

    loneland Member

    Hi there,

    First of all, it really makes me happy to hear that you are a part of your daughter's struggle, even thought it's painful. Many kids don't have trustworthy or loving adults in their lives and I hope the knowledge that you can be that for her sustains you in some way. I dealt with deadly depression as a teen, but my parents were/are far too dysfunctional to help me. Not to worry, though. I am in my early twenties now and doing quite well, all considered.

    I have a few suggestions for you. First of all, have you considered seeing a therapist yourself? I would encourage you to. Therapists are not only for the mentally ill. They can offer emotional support, sage advice, and valuable resources to anyone who is under a significant amount of stress. Research on people who care for members of their family who are mentally ill suggest that these caregivers are often hugely lacking in much needed support. Find someone who you trust and respect to work with. You may have to see several (or more) people before finding one you feel is a good match.

    As for expectations/boundaries with your child, I feel that you are already making some good decisions. Letting her go out for a walk alone when she is in a relatively stable state, as you said, poses minimal risk. It is important for her to experience the freedom and activity that life has to offer her for her to get well again. Only when necessary should normal freedoms be restricted.

    In my opinion, part of providing normalcy and structure in a struggling person's life also includes maintaining normal expectations for chores, school, etc. It's not like you have to be a Nazi about it. Everyone deserves a little leniency now and then, anyway. However, unstructured, unproductive time can be really dangerous for people with severe depression and, even though it is what most people feel like doing when they are depressed, she should spend a very minimal amount of time lounging around. Part of learning to cope with depression is learning not to give in to it when it makes you feel like giving up on normal things. Also, you might want to push your daughter to try some new activities, like a new exercise, taking a new community class, calling up a friend to hang out, introducing herself to someone new, or going to an event she would normally whine about going to. Almost every kid I know resists their parent's pressure to go explore something they assume they won't like (especially if they are feeling very depressed) but she might find a new friend, a new activity, or something else to give her life some color.

    That's all I feel I can suggest right now. I wish you and your daughter the very best! Hang in there and take care.
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